Sweden the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres, Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre; the highest concentration is in the southern half of the country. Germanic peoples have inhabited Sweden since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Geats and Swedes and constituting the sea peoples known as the Norsemen. Southern Sweden is predominantly agricultural, while the north is forested. Sweden is part of the geographical area of Fennoscandia; the climate is in general mild for its northerly latitude due to significant maritime influence, that in spite of this still retains warm continental summers.
Today, the sovereign state of Sweden is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a monarch as head of state, like its neighbour Norway. The capital city is Stockholm, the most populous city in the country. Legislative power is vested in the 349-member unicameral Riksdag. Executive power is exercised by the government chaired by the prime minister. Sweden is a unitary state divided into 21 counties and 290 municipalities. An independent Swedish state emerged during the early 12th century. After the Black Death in the middle of the 14th century killed about a third of the Scandinavian population, the Hanseatic League threatened Scandinavia's culture and languages; this led to the forming of the Scandinavian Kalmar Union in 1397, which Sweden left in 1523. When Sweden became involved in the Thirty Years War on the Reformist side, an expansion of its territories began and the Swedish Empire was formed; this became one of the great powers of Europe until the early 18th century. Swedish territories outside the Scandinavian Peninsula were lost during the 18th and 19th centuries, ending with the annexation of present-day Finland by Russia in 1809.
The last war in which Sweden was directly involved was in 1814, when Norway was militarily forced into personal union. Since Sweden has been at peace, maintaining an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs; the union with Norway was peacefully dissolved in 1905. Sweden was formally neutral through both world wars and the Cold War, albeit Sweden has since 2009 moved towards cooperation with NATO. After the end of the Cold War, Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995, but declined NATO membership, as well as Eurozone membership following a referendum, it is a member of the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Sweden maintains a Nordic social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for its citizens, it has the world's eleventh-highest per capita income and ranks in numerous metrics of national performance, including quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality and human development.
The name Sweden was loaned from Dutch in the 17th century to refer to Sweden as an emerging great power. Before Sweden's imperial expansion, Early Modern English used Swedeland. Sweden is derived through back-formation from Old English Swēoþēod, which meant "people of the Swedes"; this word is derived from Sweon/Sweonas. The Swedish name Sverige means "realm of the Swedes", excluding the Geats in Götaland. Variations of the name Sweden are used in most languages, with the exception of Danish and Norwegian using Sverige, Faroese Svøríki, Icelandic Svíþjóð, the more notable exception of some Finnic languages where Ruotsi and Rootsi are used, names considered as referring to the people from the coastal areas of Roslagen, who were known as the Rus', through them etymologically related to the English name for Russia; the etymology of Swedes, thus Sweden, is not agreed upon but may derive from Proto-Germanic Swihoniz meaning "one's own", referring to one's own Germanic tribe. Sweden's prehistory begins in the Allerød oscillation, a warm period around 12,000 BC, with Late Palaeolithic reindeer-hunting camps of the Bromme culture at the edge of the ice in what is now the country's southernmost province, Scania.
This period was characterised by small bands of hunter-gatherer-fishers using flint technology. Sweden is first described in a written source in Germania by Tacitus in 98 AD. In Germania 44 and 45 he mentions the Swedes as a powerful tribe with ships that had a prow at each end. Which kings ruled these Suiones is unknown, but Norse mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary kings going back to the last centuries BC; as for literacy in Sweden itself, the runic script was in use among the south Scandinavian elite by at least the 2nd century AD, but all that has come down to the present from the Roman Period is curt inscriptions on artefacts of male names, demonstrating th
Nick Varner is an American pool player, inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame in 1992. Varner was the winner of the 1999 WPA World Nine-ball Chammpionship. Nick D. Varner graduated from Tell City High School in Tell City, Indiana in 1966. Varner learned to play pool in his father's pool hall in Indiana. After graduating from high school, Varner gained notoriety on the professional pool scene after he won two ACU-I Intercollegiate Championships while attending Purdue University. A cliché given to Varner was "Speak and carry a big stick" because of the way he conducted himself as well as his competitive endeavors. In 1989, Varner became only the second man to earn over $100,000 in prize winnings accumulating 16 major nine-ball events and was "Player of the Year" in 1980 and 1989. Varner is an author, a video personality, a pool room proprietor, a manufacturer's representative, an exhibition player. 1970 ACU-I Intercolleagiate Championship 1975 Midwest Open 9-Ball 1979 Lexington All-Star Tournament 1980 Professional Pool Players Association World Open 14.1 Pocket Billiard Championship 1980 Billiard Congress of America National Eight-ball Championship 1980 Kentucky Derby Open 1980 BCA 8-Ball Qualifier 1980 Illinois 9-Ball Open 1981 Kentucky Open 9-Ball 1982 Professional Pool Players Association World Nine-ball Championship 1982 Kentucky Open 9-Ball 1982 Bowling Green Open, Bank 1982 Prestonburg Open 9-Ball 1982 Owensboro Open 9-Ball 1983 McDermott Masters Champion 9-Ball 1983 San Jose Open 9-Ball 1983 Kentucky Open 9-Ball 1983 National Open 9-Ball 1983 Fresno Open 9-Ball 1984 Kentucky Open 9-Ball 1984 Tennessee State 9-Ball 1985 Tennessee State 9-Ball 1985 Zurich Open 9-Ball 1986 Professional Pool Players Association World 14.1 Championship 1986 Charlotte Open 1986 Sacramento Open 9-Ball 1986 Midwest Open 9-Ball 1987 McDermott Masters 9-Ball 1988 Glass City Open 9-Ball 1988 Scranton Invitational 9-Ball 1988 Tennessee State 9-Ball 1988 Sands Regent 9-Ball 1989 US Open 9-Ball 1989 MPBA Brunswick World Championship 1989 Rak'em Up 9-Ball Classic 1989 Knoxville 9-Ball Open 1989 Governors Cup 9-Ball 1989 Glass City Open 9-Ball 1989 Sand Regent 9-Ball Open 1989 Golden 8-Ball Invitational 1989 Scranton Open 9-Ball 1989 Lexington All Star Open 1989 Akron Open 9-Ball 1990 US Open 9-Ball 1990 World Series Championship 1990 Challenge Match, Vs. Efren Reyes, 9-Ball 60-47 1990 Al Romero Classic 9-Ball 1990 West End All Around Shoot Out 1991 Rak'em Up 9-Ball 1992 Super Bowl XXVI Billiard Championship 1992 Legends of One Pocket, International One Pocket Tournament 1993 Lexington All Star Open 1994 International Challenge of Champions 1994 World 8-Ball Championship 1994 Lexington All Star Open 1996 Sands Regent 9-Ball 1996 J.
O. B One Pocket 1996 One Pocket 1996 9-Ball 1997 Mosconi Cup, Team America 1997 J. O. B. 9-Ball 1997 Sands Regent 9-Ball Open 1998 Mosconi Cup, Team America 1999 WPA World Nine-ball Championship 1999 World Championship 9-Ball Bank 1999 Steve Mizerak Tulsa Senior Open 9-Ball 2000 World One Pocket Championship 2000 Derby City Classic One Pocket 2000 Steve Mizerak Senior Masters Open 9-Ball 2001 The "Superman Classic" Open Tournament 2001 Mosconi Cup Team America 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour, CM's Place 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour, Kiss Shot Billiards 2001 Sunshine State One Pocket Tour, Capone's Billiards 2001 Sunshine State One Pocekt Tour, Sharp Shooters 2001 Hard Times One Pocket 2002 Border Battle, Team USA Vs Team Canada 2002 Patriot Cup 2002 Jacksonville 9-Ball Open 2002 Glass City Open 9-Ball 2003 Pechauer 9-Ball Stop #7 2003 Mosconi Cup, Team America, Captain 2003 Border Battle, Team USA VS Team Canada 2004 Border Battle, Team USA VS Team Canada 2007 Great Southern 9-Ball Tour, Big Orange Classic 2014 Durbin Cup "bio on NickVarner.com" "Nick Varner Custom Cues", Nick Varner Custom Cues "Nick Varner Player Profile", InternationalPoolTour.com, International Pool Tour
Johnny Archer is an American professional pool player. He is nicknamed "the Scorpion". On June 8, 2009, Johnny Archer was nominated to be inducted into the Billiard Congress of America Hall of Fame. Archer grew up with his two brothers and two sisters in Twin City and began playing pool at the age of 12, he is one of the most successful nine-ball players of the past two decades, having won the majority of the game's major tournaments at least once, culminating in his being named Billiards Digest Player of the Decade at the end of the 1990s. Archer is a two-time WPA World Nine-ball Champion, winning in both 1992 when he defeated Bobby Hunter, again in 1997 after beating Lee Kun-fang of Chinese Taipei, he was a runner-up the following year, losing in the final to Takahashi Kunihiko of Japan. He was the 1999 US Open champion, has won over 60 professional tournaments throughout his career, he has been a regular on the US Mosconi Cup team, having joined them a record seventeen times, winning on nine of those occasions.
In 2003, one of Archer's most successful years, he won tournaments such as Sudden Death Seven-ball and the first World Summit of Pool. Archer won the 2006 US$50,000 winner-take-all International Challenge of Champions by defeating Thorsten Hohmann in the finals. In 2007, he won. While in the 2005 event the entire purse was awarded to the winner, in the 2007 event the purse was split; the Ripley's Believe It or Not! television show, on September 3, 2003, pitted Archer and Jeremy Jones against each other in a challenge match in speed pool. The show had them timed against each other, to try to beat the record, which at that time stood at 1 minute 30 seconds to break a full rack of balls and pocket all fifteen balls, move to another table and do it again. Archer was the victor; the event was recorded in a warehouse in Los Angeles where other challenge matches were taking place to beat records. Archer has rejoined the staff of Inside Pool Magazine, where he writes a monthly instruction column. For 2007, he was ranked # 3 in Billiard Magazine's "Fans' Top 20 Favorite Players" poll.
2014 Music City Open runner up 2007 Pool & Billiard Magazine Fans' Top 20 Favorite Players, #3 2007 Joss Northeast Nine-ball Tour Classic VIII at Turning Stone Resort and Casino 2006 International Challenge of Champions winner 2007 Texas Hold'Em Billiards Champion 2006 SML Open winner 2003 World Summit of Pool winner 2003 Brunswick Pro Players Champion 2003 Sudden Death Seven-ball winner 2003 On Cue. He's an avid golfer, ascribes his strong pool break to playing a lot of golf, noting similarities in having the timing right and using one's whole body in the stroke. Archer co-owned the now defunct Marietta Billiard Club in Georgia. Archer's official website
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Mexico the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States. Covering 2,000,000 square kilometres, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity, the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and León. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain.
Three centuries the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes; the Mexican–American War led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century; the Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic. Mexico has the 11th largest by purchasing power parity; the Mexican economy is linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement partners the United States. In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.
The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power, is identified as an emerging global power. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world for its biodiversity. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica, it is believed to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance as a result, although it could have been the other way around.
In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain this territory became the Intendency of Mexico and after New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire it came to be known as the State of Mexico with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain; the suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain, it has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" and navel. This meaning might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco; the system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey; the name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative during the 16th century; this led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish l
Chicago the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450, it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area referred to as Chicagoland, the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States; the metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area. Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild; the construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, by 1900 Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, the steel-framed skyscraper. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, transportation, it is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market gobally, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, the region has the largest number of U. S. highways and greatest amount of railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index; the Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, generating $680 billion in 2017. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, not being dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018, made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, film, comedy and music jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams; the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more as ramps.
The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687:...when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders, which refers to the city's numerous skyscrapers and high-rises. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples; the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable arrived in the 1780s, he is known as the "Founder of Chicago".
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area, to be part of Chicago was turned over to the United States for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn and rebuilt; the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis; the Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. Receiver of Public Monies; the City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837, for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city. As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.
Chicago's first railway and Chicago Union Railroad, the Illi
Alicante, or Alacant, both the Spanish and Valencian being official names, is a city and port in Spain on the Costa Blanca, the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of Alacantí, in the south of the Valencian Community. It is a historic Mediterranean port; the population of the city of Alicante proper was 330,525, estimated as of 2016, ranking as the second-largest Valencian city. Including nearby municipalities, the Alicante conurbation had 452,462 residents; the population of the metropolitan area was 757,085 as of 2014 estimates, ranking as the eighth-largest metropolitan area of Spain. The name of the city echoes the Arabic name Laqant or Al-Laqant, which in turn reflects the Latin Lucentum; the area around Alicante has been inhabited for over 7000 years. The first tribes of hunter-gatherers moved down from Central Europe between 5000 and 3000 BC; some of the earliest settlements were made on the slopes of Mount Benacantil. By 1000 BC Greek and Phoenician traders had begun to visit the eastern coast of Spain, establishing small trading ports and introducing the native Iberian tribes to the alphabet and the pottery wheel.
The Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca established the fortified settlement of Akra Leuka, in the mid-230s BC, presumed to have been on the site of modern Alicante. Although the Carthaginians conquered much of the land around Alicante, the Romans would rule Hispania Tarraconensis for over 700 years. By the 5th century AD, Rome was in decline and the Roman predecessor town of Alicante, known as Lucentum, was more or less under the control of the Visigothic warlord Theudimer and thereafter under Visigothic rule from 400 to 700 A. D; the Goths did not put up much resistance to the Arab conquest of Medina Laqant in the beginning of the 8th century. The Moors ruled eastern Spain until the 13th century Reconquista. Alicante was taken in 1247 by the Castilian king Alfonso X, but it passed soon and definitively to the Kingdom of Valencia in 1296 with King James II of Aragon, it gained the status of Royal Village with representation in the medieval Valencian Parliament. After several decades of being the battlefield where the Kingdom of Castile and the Crown of Aragon clashed, Alicante became a major Mediterranean trading station exporting rice, olive oil and wool.
But between 1609 and 1614 King Felipe III expelled thousands of Moriscos who had remained in Valencia after the Reconquista, due to their cooperation with Barbary pirates who continually attacked coastal cities and caused much harm to trade. This act cost the region dearly. Things got worse in the early 18th century; the end of the 19th century witnessed a sharp recovery of the local economy with increasing international trade and the growth of the city harbour leading to increased exports of several products. During the early 20th century, Alicante was a minor capital that enjoyed the benefit of Spain's neutrality during World War I, that provided new opportunities for local industry and agriculture; the Rif War in the 1920s saw numerous alicantinos drafted to fight in the long and bloody campaigns in the former Spanish protectorate against the Rif rebels. The political unrest of the late 1920s led to the victory of Republican candidates in local council elections throughout the country, the abdication of King Alfonso XIII.
The proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic was much celebrated in the city on 14 April 1931. The Spanish Civil War broke out on 17 July 1936. Alicante was the last city loyal to the Republican government to be occupied by General Franco's troops on 1 April 1939, its harbour saw the last Republican government officials fleeing the country. Vicious air bombings were targeted on Alicante during the three years of civil conflict, most notably the bombing by the Italian Aviazione Legionaria of the Mercado de Abastos on 25 May 1938 in which more than 300 civilians perished; the late 1950s and early 1960s saw the onset of a lasting transformation of the city by the tourist industry. Large buildings and complexes rose in nearby Albufereta and Playa de San Juan, with the benign climate being the biggest draw to attract prospective buyers and tourists who kept the hotels reasonably busy. New construction benefited the whole economy, as the development of the tourism sector spawned new businesses such as restaurants and other tourist-oriented enterprises.
The old airfield at Rabassa was closed and air traffic moved to the new El Altet Airport, which made a more convenient and modern facility for charter flights bringing tourists from northern European countries. When Franco died in 1975, his successor Juan Carlos I played his part as the living symbol of the transition of Spain to a democratic constitutional monarchy; the governments of regional communities were given constitutional status as nationalities, their governments were given more autonomy, including that of the Valencian region, the Generalitat Valenciana. The Port of Alicante has been reinventing itself since the industrial decline the city suffered in the 1980s. In recent years